As I sit here with my coffee in hand and my wind being blown by the slightly chilly 13 degree day (for all of you Americans out there, that is in Celsius not Farenheight but still cold) I ponder what I should write about. How I should start off my explanations of Australia to all you out there?
The question everyone keeps on asking me here is “Do I like Melbourne?” followed quickly by “What is different here than in the United States?”
That is a difficult query to respond to because that is my goal for this semester; to determine what the differences are between Australia and the United States, between Melbourne and Philadelphia. To see what being 10,000 miles away does to my outlook on the world.
But to begin, here are some first impressions and the few differences I have noticed in my first two and a half weeks here:
People trust each other more here, tropical plants grow even in the winter, almost everyone plays a sport, people don’t say “Good job” they say “Good on you,” people talk candidly and openly about nearly everything, from their drinking, to their problems, to their sex lives, politics are often discussed over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, everything is really expensive, people are always willing to drop what they have to help you, and Melbourne is much colder than I had thought it would be.
Now for a little about my run yesterday…
I went for my first real exploration long run in Australia and it was magical.
To feel the familiar pound of my feet against the sidewalk in such an unfamiliar city.
As the miles passed I became familiar.
I felt the constant and familiar rise and fall of my chest as I passed each unfamiliar face.
The buildings I passed had that mysterious grandeur that familiarity tends to takes away.
They are unknown and still hold that secretive splendor that is so quickly lost.
I was comfortable playing the role of tourist in this new city as I bobbed and weaved around people in the streets to which I will soon become accustomed to.
I know soon the buildings, the trees, the streets, and even some of the faces and myself will become acquainted.
But for now, I enjoy the mystery, the unknown, and the questions.
There I can find beauty.